Not even an impressive last-start win coming from last convinced Zac Purton and Paul O’Sullivan to do anything but get back to the basics with Line Seeker, who made it two from two after throat surgery – but not by much.
Resuming last month following the operation, Line Seeker had gone up in the air at the start and Purton rode him for luck, coming from last to win untouched.
From gate one yesterday, the options were there to do the same again or revert to Line Seeker’s on-pace presence but Purton preferred to get back to the old ways.
“It wasn’t the intention to be last the other day, and even though he did look impressive he’s been very effective racing up front previously,” said Purton. “I usually take the view that, when a horse has the early speed that Line Seeker has, I don’t like to take that away from them. I’d rather use it.”
And use it he did, getting onto the back of the speedy lightweight Top Bonus before taking a lot longer to run him down than favourite backers would have liked.
“Line Seeker is a lightly built horse so he felt the 133 pounds in the saddle and I was always going to get there but I was surprised how Top Bonus kept fighting – he normally struggles at the end of 1,000m at Happy Valley,” Purton said.
A tiny but veritable margin separated them at the end and O’Sullivan paid credit to Jockey Club vet Paul Robinson for Line Seeker’s successful return.
“He’s a world class surgeon and, after he did the operation on Line Seeker, he told me things couldn’t have gone better and he was quite confident we’d get the horse back,” O’Sullivan said. “Once upon a time, these sorts of wind operations were only occasionally successful but there have been a few more that have gone well recently.”
O’Sullivan said Class Two next time would be a fresh challenge for Line Seeker but a drop in weights would help.
“He isn’t much of a type but he does have a pedigree and he’s one who seems to run to his pedigree not his shape,” he said.